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tv   Sen. Jeff Flake Speaks at Congressional Correspondents Dinner  CSPAN  November 14, 2018 7:44pm-8:26pm EST

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that. so the question is, how are you going to pay for it? that always becomes very challenging because there's no sort of easy way to pay for infrastructure without impacting an awful lot of americans. thanks a lot.
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>> please stand to honor america as abc news -- performs the national anthem. ♪
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[applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, the 2018 radio and television congressional correspondents dinner chairman c-span's craig kaplan. >> good evening, everyone. please join me in thanking ali for that amazing performance again. [applause] >> welcome to the 74th annual rtca dinner. we have a great evening planned for you here at the anthem. our new home for this year's dinner. tonight we will hear from our dinner host i heart media enrique santos and our keynote speaker arizona senator jeff
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flake. [applause] >> we'll honor radio and television journalists among us tonight, for their excellence in reporting and photo journalism, and we'll wrap up the evening by rocking out up here on the stage. this dinner has been a year in the making, and there are many, many people to thank. starting with those sitting up here at the head table. the majority of them are your executive committee members. they work with the house and senate gallery staff as well as the hill leaders offices who are also represented up here, to maintain and expand your access to lawmakers. so let me now introduce them. starting to my right, director of the house radio and
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television correspondents gallery. [applause] >> washington bureau chief for television. communications director and senior advisor to house democratic leader nancy pelosi. nbc news capitol hill producer and off air reporter. communications director for house speaker paul ryan. enrique santos, our master of ceremonies tonight. and on my left, from abc, chair of the executive committee and next year's dinner chair. senator jeff flake of arizona and his wife cheryl flake. paul orgel from c-span, vice
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chair of the executive committee and the 2019 chair of the association. capitol hill correspondent for christian broadcasting network. capitol hill journalist sinclair broadcasting group. and director of the senate radio and television correspondents gallery. thank you all for being here tonight and for your support. each year we have olga and mike at the head table, buts the -- but it is also their staff that deserves to be recognized tonight. on the senate side, joining them. [applause] >> and the house staff joining olga. [applause] >> thank you.
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thanks for everything you do in advocating for our coverage on capitol hill. we really appreciate your hard work. also, thank you to bruce collins, c-span's vice president and general counsel who is also joining us here tonight. for all your legal counsel and advice, to the rtca over the years, and especially with credentialing and its rules during my time as the association's chairman. i would also like to thank our incredible event planners, especially phillip, patricia and kay for all their hard work putting together tonight's event. also to our dinner sponsors, c-span and i heart media for their very generous support. [applause] >> finally, thank you to my c-span family of over 20 years,
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and to all my colleagues who worked there for the opportunity of a lifetime to cover congress. [applause] >> and thanks to my own family, my beautiful wife harriet as well as our caring parents judy and jerry caplan who are joining us here tonight. and our two wonderful daughters shauna and rachel for all their live, support, and patience with me in planning tonight's event. please join me in applauding all of their efforts. [applause] >> it's been a tradition for the dinner chair to offer a toast to congress. so please raise your glass with me so here's mine.
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to the outgoing congress and the incoming one, on behalf of the nearly 4,000 radio and television journalists and 455 news organizations, credentialed to cover capitol hill, continue, continue to work with us to maintain access to you, the lawmakers in an effort to keep our government accountable to the public. cheers. i have the honor of introducing our dinner host for the evening. he's a reserve city of miami police officer and the chairman of i-heart latino and syndicated morning radio show host enrique santos. [applause] >> thank you. >> thank you mr. caplan. thank you very much.
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good evening, everybody. i just flew in from florida. miami-dade county, the 305 to be exact. yes. it worked out great because on the flight up it allowed me some extra time to finish voting. [laughter] >> that's the one advantage i think that we have in florida. we not only have early voting. we have absentee voting. we have apparently now extended voting. we have a reputation for being late to everything. i ran into bill nelson when i landed at ronald reagan this afternoon. i got to thank him for his service. he says that the recount is going well and that we should know the results of florida before 2019. we actually took a picture at the airport. i want to share that picture with you here. and i think we were photo bombed by comedian, actress, melissa mccarthy. can we zoom-in there? is that melissa mccarthy?
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it looks like her, yes? i'm honored to be here this evening. my grandparents along with their children which are now obviously my parents fled to cuban dictatorship regime over 50 years ago. you know they never had the chance to -- they never had the chance to voice their thoughts much less vote in their country of origin, against this backdrop, especially here tonight, my standing here before all of you who value free press so dearly and who have made it your mission to investigate and report the truth, no matter how difficult or inconvenient it may be at times, it's so real to them. for me it is more than an honor. it comes with a great sense of responsibility. every morning millions of people from all walks of life wake up to my voice, doctors, lawyers, housekeepers, waiters, like the ones serving us here this
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evening, soccer moms, students, documented and undocumented people as well. i have a great impact, an impact on their mood for that day. but what i'm most proud of is that i get to give my audience something that my parents never had in their country. i give my audience a voice. this capacity to articulate opinions and ideas, the principle that is so inherent to us here in the united states, so presumed that it is easy to take it for granted. the fact is, that so many others around the world, as we know risk and lose everything, some pay with their lives, just for the opportunity to exercise this precious freedom we enjoy every day in this great country. the work that we do, regardless of whether our role is that of a journalist, a political commentator, or host is critical. although difficult and at times inconvenient, this work is what
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ensures the fabric of our democracy. it upholds the tenets of the 1st amendment. without it, regardless of what political party may be in control of our government, this critical aspect of our democracy would be at risk. the fact is, freedom of speech grants all american citizens the liberty to criticize the government and speak their minds without fear of being censored or prosecuted. as a radio show host, speaking my mind and asking my fellow citizens to speak their minds is the i and the heart of what i do. one of my first visits here to d.c. was for a hispanic heritage celebration at the white house a couple of elections ago. despite the fact that i didn't vote for the president who was currently in office, at that time, it was during that visit that i realized just how beautiful and truly awesome our country is. my brother, a now retired u.s. army veteran, was deployed in
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iraq, and even though i didn't vote for the sitting president, i was standing in the east room of the white house, having a cocktail and celebrating my heritage, jose, the white house staff member who was bar tending was also an immigrant. he's an immigrant coincidentally from cuba. i quickly realized how truly lucky i was, how lucky i was for this country to have welcomed my parents and grandparents so that i may enjoy freedom. i was experiencing freedom and a right that so many others including many of my own family members unfortunately never enjoyed in their own birth country. i've since returned to the white house, and when i have been there, i look forward to seeing jose again. he has great stories about the different families he has so proudly served in the white house throughout the years. he lights up when he sees me right away and starts talking in spanish. very quietly as if we're doing
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something wrong. us cubans speak very loudly. he's a great guy. i'm not sure if he's still there working at the white house. if he is, if there's any white house staffers here, if you see jose, if you see him at the bar or serving anyone in the white house, please tell him i say hello. thank you. thank you once again, sir. thank you all for inviting me to host tonight. and thank you for daring -- thank you all, the applause is really for all of you. the applause for all of you. thank you for inviting me tonight and thank you for daring to lead, to lead and for being the voice of the people each and every single one of you here, be it radio, be it written press, be it television, you are the backbone of what a true democracy is, and most importantly, folks, let us always remember that the press is not -- the press is not the enemy of the people. [cheers and applause] ::
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. >> congressional and political
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reporting in the past year. the award honors the memory of the cbs producer who was a treasured friend and journalist known for her tenacity and detailed memory and relentless pursuit from answers from politicians and the judges for this year's award noticed digging deeply into an issue already reverberating across america to show congress is not immune to the problem of sexual harassment. into be complicated to avoid sexual harassment on the hill. they challenge congress to fix a broken system here is a clip. >> while on the topic of sexual harassment in congress it is a conversation we have
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been having approved mandatory sexual harassment prevention training for all lawmakers and staffers but they did not have to do it before. but many say this isn't far enough and point to a reporting process within congress that is stacked against the accuser so what happens if you are sexually harassed on capitol hill? i will walk you through the process. it is very convoluted if you are a victim you have 180 days, six months to bring a claim to the office of compliance assuming that you are aware that it even exists. only one out of ten women staffers know that it is they are. once processed, 30 days of mandatory counseling then 15 days to decide whether to bring those claims to mediation if you don't want to go to mediation then you are out of options. if you do then you are bound
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by confidentiality and it's clear during this time there is no investigation c may see this person every day at work. in mediation begins the congressman's office gets involved to protect the office and the institution they are paid with taxpayer money. you the victim may or may not have a lawyer if you do not reach a settlement with this person there is a mandatory 30 day cooling off period before victim can file a lawsuit or request a hearing. you have to wait one month before you can take anyone to court. that's right if a settlement is reached then you have to sign a nondisclosure agreement to prevent you from reporting the act to the ethics committee, you cannot talk to coworkers, friends, family, spot even. and the settlement is paid for with taxpayer money we talked about that earlier this week.
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>> if you work on capitol hill and a victim of sexual harassment or abuse you go to the office, taxpayers pay the lawyers that fight your claim and if you settle with that member the taxpayers pay that settlement and that you are not allowed to speak publicly about it quick. >> you got it right. >> who wrote the rules to protect lawmakers and put taxpayers on the hook quick. >> you get it. congress. >> so with this ethics committee which members could be held accountable. i have found the office of compliance difficult to deal with. researchers have called they will not even transfer all information to members of congress. . >> this is progress. it was created 1995 and until that time there was no
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workplace protections for congressional staff. none. accepting the award is host caldwell nbc news capitol hill reporter. [applause] . >> thank you all so much. we are all incredibly honored to the radio & tv correspondents' dinner for this award and all of your hard work. we cannot tell you how touched we are for such a groundbreaking in tenacious female journalist as joan
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especially for covering this topic and thank you to the gallery for your work every single day at the capital and first and foremost, to emphasize we are being honored tonight is a true team effort from everybody that you seen we are all committed to this story for months to make invaluable contributions across all platforms and were backed up by the full weight of nbc news, news division president gave us a story and had our backs from the very beginning of the news leadership team were available around the clock and the producers at nbc nightly news and the today show and they had such importance with airtime the cruise that worked
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with us day in and day out with her interviews we could not have done any of this without you. thank you to msnbc president including the executive producer and even those that produce the segment that you just saw outlining that process. [applause] also a special thank you to the associate producer with a herculean task to call every single congressional office if they have ever saddled one - - settle the house complaint putting pressure on the house and the senate. [applause] and then to release data that was kept secret literally for decades and to the women who told their stories and trusted we would protect them, thank you for your courage this will help the future generations of women. [applause]
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and also to my mom was always been in my corner. [applause] reporting on sexual harassment is an incredibly personal and four members of congress reside after allegations of the house and the senate both passed bills to change that incredibly arcane process that we just walked through using taxpayer money to cover cost of settlement, but the work is not unfinished. the bill has not passed because of disagreements over the critical question whether members should have to cover the cost of those settlements over their own pockets. there is still a lot to do but the fact that we are here recognized by all of you in
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more than 100 women have been elected to congress for the first time in our country's history. [applause] i will say fixing this problem probably got a hell of a lot easier and now i will turn it over to my colleague who drove this story the entire way. [applause] think you two nbc news team you are incredible and i am so honored to be a part of it. so to thank all the women and men who decided to come forward with their stories. without their strength and courage, we would have nothing to report and without the hill staffers and members of congress who are dedicated to changing the workplace we would have had a lot fewer stories. so because of the risk our sources took risk to reputation and future employment or personal safety, things are changing.
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not only with the words written in packages produced but as a testament to their courage and their strength in coming forward. as reporters we honor the groundbreaking work "the new york times" on sexual harassment in hollywood. their stories led to our stories and as a mother , everybody who risks something coming forward has made it easier for all of our kids to speak out especially when it is most difficult. and finally, a toast to the first amendment because without it or because of it, excuse me truth prevails in the end. thank you so much. [applause] to the first amendment.
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give it up one more time nbc news capitol hill bureau. [applause] the next award the jerry thompson word recognizes extraordinary careers focusing on the qualities mentorship and the memory of jay thompson a long time videographer for cnn and known for his generous friendship and willingness to help others consistently pushing above and beyond expectations here to present the jerry thompson award 2011 chairman of the sea and an
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senior photojournalist j mcmichael. [applause] . >> created in 2012 with the journalist and technicians in the industry embodying the standards and the photojournalism excellence. . >> the ideal receptor and is selfless and a teacher and mentor and to reach above and beyond expectations and always a friend to all these are the qualities that those of us who
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were lucky enough to work with jerry thompson remember he exhibited on a daily basis this year's recipient of the 2018 jerry thompson award embodies all those qualities. for those of you who work on capitol hill you know, have every day smiling. wears great shoes which i very much appreciate and talks about the new york giants please join me to congratulate jerry from c-span. >> i know his widow wanted us to read a message that she had the arner - - honor to work with him early in his career a great teacher and coworker and they had the opportunity to work on many issues and was always kind and helpful and
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fun and she can remember his wonderful laugh and smile she is very happy he is receiving this award in honor of her husband. >> he is a character. the best way to talk about him is to say how fun and exciting i get to work with him every day. [laughter] camera, audio, lighting. covering six presidents and it's great he is getting an award. >> my experience is that it goes back and to be an
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ambassador for c-span it really sets them apart in many ways. he puts his hand on the shoulder and looks them in the eye. and makes them smile it's a great way for people to learn because who knows better than him to talk about what we do? . >> recently relaunched the nicest people i watched him during that process. he made a habit to check in to see if they could be of help and why an award like this would be given. >> a's to work with him at cnn, very professional, always pulling people to the side to
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help them with their career. it's only fitting he receives this award it is fitting for everybody else. >> i think he is perfect for the award. >> we will keep watch on him so this doesn't go to his head or ego but it is a thrill for us to know that others outside of c-span think the world of him. [applause] this is so awesome. and i am so so happy to be here. i am so honored to be here to accept the jerry thompson award.
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i am blessed, i am happy, and i am overwhelmed. thank you so very much. jerry thompson's award is very special to me. because i knew jerry. because of this particular reason i knew he was the kind of guy if you have a briefing or a press conference, you knew jerry was in the room. he was a quiet guy. that i knew his partner, tony better but every time jerry and tony would come into the room they would always acknowledge me and show professionalism throughout the whole day thank you to the c-span family. [applause]
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the weekend crew and all the technicians that i work with every day. that is the control operators in the producers engineers and even the interns i really enjoy what i do and i enjoy talking to the interns because showing them the ropes and teaching them what c-span is all about, that's our job it's our job to show them what broadcasting is like. i would like to give special thanks to an awesome outstanding wonderful brian
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lamb. [applause] and also susan swain, jerry, swain, jerry, jackie, roxanne bruce and the chief engineer. these are the people that was there when i walked in the door and that was 1982. i started at c-span as a 24 -year-old kid straight out of roosevelt new york covering congressional hearings and press conferences but one day we were doing a hearing in the
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catholic building - - the capital building i am on my knees and a big guy comes into the room with white hair i said that is tip o'neill. and the reason why i got excited about that because my father used to talk about him. he used to love tip o'neill and that is exactly how i feel now. i am excited and i am blessed i am in the room with the best professionals producer producers, reporters. you are the best in the world
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and i am a part of that. [applause] so i would light to think teeten t five for giving me this blessing and also to thank my mother. [applause] eighty-seven years old and my sister natalie is here and today is natalie's birthday. [applause] happy birthday and last but certainly not least, our yout youth, the young students the people we see growing up on the streets.
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and that is one thing c-span has taught me to share what you do and be proud of what you do. i am so happy to be here. thank you so much. [applause] . >> beautiful words. thank you so much.
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i want to correct a misstatement with my accent i would like to call donna back up here i want to apologize. i watch cnn see the everything see everything subtitled i always thought it was donna. sorry i messed up your name. we will enjoy some dinner. all drinks are on wolf blitzer. he is paying. [laughter] you look more handsome in person. we will resume in 30 minutes your i heart radio jazz party playlist. enjoy. think you.
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enjoy. think you. ♪ ♪
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. >> we will be back to the radio & tv correspondents' after the guest have a chance to eat the program is expected to continue in 30 or 40 minutes than there will be more awards presented an errant persona long dashing in arizona senator will give the keynote address. until then let's look at senator flake on the floor to consider the special counsel from being fired into the investigation of russian interference in the 2016 election. mitch mcconnell objected to the motion. >> mister president, ask unanimous consent the senate proceed calendar number 323644 and re- the agreement be agreed to the bill as amended is considered red


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